Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Death, Deer, and Discovery Gardens - Blogging from A to Z Challenge

This year for the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I'm focusing on going through my homeschooling files that I've created from the time that Sophia and Olivia were in preschool.

Some of the files are still relevant while others I will be decluttering and recycling in the process. Each day during April, I will pick one of the files to focus on - either doing a hands-on activity or sharing some information from one of the files.

For the fourth day - letter D - I am focusing on Death, Deer, and Discovery Gardens.



On January 5, 2012, my Dad died; and on August 15, 2015, my Mom died. Even though I knew that they would die at some point, it wasn't easy....by a long shot.

My parents with Olivia and Sophia.
(March 2011)

As I was going through the files that started with D, I found a poem in the file for Death and Grief that was written by Maya Angelou. I’m happy I found this poem. It was something I needed to read today:

It is healthy and honorable
To weep at the loss of someone we love.
Healthy because
Such passion must be released.
Honorable because it is respectful
To admit the importance of people
Who have loved and supported us…
People whose footprints
Cannot ever be matched.

Another poem by Maya Angelou:

A great soul serves everyone all the time.
A great soul never dies.
It brings us together again and again.



- A deer’s foot has four toes. The two small, outside toes are called dewclaws. The two middle toes form the hoof. The hoof is covered by an extra tough, thick toenail. This allows the deer to fun its fastest, because it is running on its tiptoes.

I never noticed how a deer stands until now.
It does look like it is standing on its toes.
This deer was in our front yard - right by our family room window.
(Taken on June 1, 2008.)

- Deer can see in every direction except right behind them. They may not see objects as clearly as we do, but they are very good at detecting movement. And that is all they need to see in order to escape from danger.

This deer is running in the cornfield across the street from us.
Notice its white tail.
(Taken on June 13, 2009.)

- One second a deer can be standing still and the next second it will be running 45 miles per hour (72 kilometers per hour)! It can dodge boulders and trees without slowing down.

- A deer can leap across streams 30 feet (9 meters) wide and jump over fences 10 feet (3 meters) high.


Discovery Gardens

In the file about Discovery Gardens, I took notes about some projects I wanted to do to create a child-friendly backyard that fostered the imagination of children, encouraged play, and helped them develop a connection with nature.

Some of the things I thought would make for an interesting space for kids (and adults alike!) are to have:
- A refuge - caves, houses, den from found materials, playhouses, or a miniature forest.
- Artfully-designed pet houses.
- A water element.
- A butterfly garden.

Butterfly and bee on a blossom.
(Taken on April 5, 2012.)

- A place to nurture something - like flowers and vegetable gardens.
- A beanpole tipi.
- Tiny berms that are about two feet high.
- Music chimes in the ground.

- Artful ornaments.
- A circular course or labyrinth.
- Berry bushes.
- "Performing" plants.
- A sundial.
- An alphabet garden.


In the process of going through the files that began with "D," I recycled 1 bag of photocopies and magazine clippings. There also were books that I added to the items I'm donating to the local thrift shop.

Files that begin with "D" that I started with (above) and
the ones that I'm keeping along with the bag of recycled papers (below). 

All together - from A to D - I've recycled 5 bags of papers!


Sharon Himsl said...

I've made a note to check out more of Maya Angeloa's poetry. Very soulful and fitting words in memory of your parents. ...Your children have beautiful names. ...Also, did not know deer could jump that far. So very graceful. A nice mixture of memories. Thanks for sharing. Take care!

"Female Scientists Before Our Time"

Pamela said...

The first poem is so beautiful. I lost my Mum in 2003 and my Dad in 2009, not a day goes by that I don't think of them and wish they were here to see their grandchildren grow into adulthood. They were amazing people and their footprints cannot ever be matched.